Casa Presidencial denies packing job slots for buddies

Casa Presidencial came out with a snippy press release Wednesday night in which it denied that the current government was filling positions with supporters in the face of a change in administrations.

The release, which was unsigned, said the government is leaving 700 positions to be filled by the new administration.

The newspaper,  Semanario Universidad, reported that the current government was filling jobs to tie them up in the face of the change in governments.

The Casa Presidential release branded this report as false and unfounded, and noted that the report had been picked up by other news outlets. Then it launched into a lecture on the responsibilities of journalists to avoid these types of manipulations that affect the rights of persons and institutions. It said that the failure to find the truth was labor harassment and in the worse cases political persecution.

The newspaper based at the Universidad de Costa Rica has generally sided with critics of the Laura Chinchilla administration. However, an official press release with such rancor is unusual.

The newspaper reported that the Chinchilla administration has filed key jobs at the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, the Autoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos, the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad and the Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones.

Also reported and perhaps the reason for the tone of the press release was that the wife of the current minister of the Presidencia, Carlos Ricardo Benavides, has been named to a position in the Instituto Nacional de Mujeres.

The newspaper provided names, dates and positions, including a recent appointment to head the Caja for seven years.

The report seems to have been inspired by the transition team of president-elect Luis Guillermo Solís of the Partido Acción Ciudadana.

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